We usually hear the news about surrogacy. Many religious organizations call it unethical and strongly oppose it. For them, it is a practice which is commodifying mother and child, which means it is using mother and child as a commodity. So the question is, is it really a valid logic or it is just a silly one. Let’s have a look.
What is surrogacy and surrogate mother?
Suppose you are an infertile couple and you want to have a baby. So simply you want to rent out a womb of someone. It’s same like you are not having a house and you are looking for a house to stay in. Here, you are renting out someone’s womb to carry your baby.
The lady, who will rent her womb to carry your baby, is known as surrogate mother and the whole process of renting out a womb is called surrogacy.
Altruistic and commercial surrogacy
The surrogate mother can do it voluntarily or commercially. It means she can rent out her womb voluntarily for the altruistic purpose or even commercially to earn some money. If the womb is given out for the altruistic purpose then this is known as altruistic surrogacy while, when the womb is given out for the commercial purpose then it is known as commercial surrogacy.
Legalizing commercial surrogacy
Now the valid question is, if someone is offering happiness to an infertile couple, then why not it should be done on a wider scale within the purview of law. Why not a government should legalize surrogacy and make some definite laws and set clear guidelines for the wider benefit which can benefit countless infertile couples as well as surrogate mothers too.
Although, commercial surrogacy is legal in India, but not in many parts of the world. And in India too many people are voicing in favor of its ban because it exploits poor and needy woman for a little money. So rather banning commercial surrogacy let’s legalize it for the greater benefit and it will solve almost all problems which are currently arising.
So first let’s look at the positive side of commercial surrogacy
1-Legalizing commercial surrogacy will help the government to decide what amount of remuneration should be provided to a surrogate mother. At least it will fix a minimum amount which a surrogate mother can get. It will stop the exploitation of poor women.
In current scenario most of the paid fee goes to doctors or middleman. A surrogate mother gets a very small percentage of it and she does the most of work. If there will be a law in place, things will be transparent and surrogate mother will get better benefit.
2-It will curb the black market where the work of surrogacy is done secretly and illegally. It puts a surrogate mother’s life at risk as she doesn’t have too much of the information. Even she doesn’t know too much about the risk involved in it.
Greedy doctors and middleman always exploit them for a little amount of money and always kept them in the dark. Legalization will offer them a greater transparency and protection.
3-For some women, especially the poor women, surrogacy is a way to earn livelihood.
Legalization will help them out. They will be informed about everything related to this process, and if surrogates will be conned and misled by greedy middlemen and doctors they will resort to legal protection. It will offer these surrogate mothers a greater confidence.
Some concerns against commercial surrogacy
So, commercial surrogacy is good. Let’s go for it and spread happiness among infertile couple. Hell nope. There are many ethical concerns as well which should be needed to address properly.
1-Life is a precious gift and we simply can’t put a price tag on it. So converting this surrogacy into a legal business is unethical.
Technically, if we look at the commercial surrogacy, it is almost like an organ selling business. You are renting out someone’s organ to solve your purpose. And it is morally wrong.
2-For some people, it’s same like the prostitution which involve the ethical concern.
In prostitution a prostitute sells her body for money and here a surrogate mother sells her womb for money. Like prostitution, legalize commercial surrogacy has many ethical concerns.
3-Legalizing commercial surrogacy will embolden Human Trafficking. Lots of women will be forced into this money making business.
It will exploit poor women who opt to surrogacy for a little amount of money. Surrogacy always put’s a woman’s life at risk and increase the chances of maternal death rate. So we can’t force more women to bear hardship, pain and risk.
4-Legalizing surrogacy will launch a competition in the market and many more clinics will directly involve in it.
This cut throat competition will enforce clinics to make maximum profit, which may lead to compromised safety measures and it will endanger many lives.
So what’s the way forward?
Banning commercial surrogacy would be like taking away means of livelihood from many women for whom it is a way to make living and most of them are poor. So it would be totally unfair to those poor women. At the same time, commercial surrogacy is a way to provide child to childless couples and livelihood to the needy.
So we need to think about the greater benefit of surrogate mother and make law in her favour. Rather opposing it, we should make strict guidelines to provide better monitoring and regulations for the practice of surrogacy else unregulated growth of this industry will endanger the lives of many surrogate mothers and the children born of them.